Lilly Poe is staying home to play college softball. The pitching star from Henley high school signed her letter of intent to play for Oregon Tech starting next fall.
Poe was a four-year starter in the circle for the Hornets, helping them to a 30-0 record and state title in 2017 and state runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019. She was a four-time Skyline Conference Pitcher of the year and three-time First-Team All-State Pitcher. She finished her senior season with a 22-3 record, 164 strikeouts and a 2.63 earned run average.
“Lilly is a competitor with good command of her pitches,” said OIT head coach Greg Stewart in a press release. “She has pitched at an elite level of consistency during her high school career and will give us another quality arm next season. I am thrilled that Lilly has chosen to stay in Klamath Falls and become an Oregon Tech Owl.”
Poe is joining fellow Hornet Kaila Mick at OIT, who signed in September to play for the home-town college.
“Kaila will be an immediate impact player for us in 2020,” Stewart said in a September press release. “She is a shortstop with great athleticism, and Kaila is one of the more accomplished hitters in the state of Oregon at any level and is a true 5-tool player. She is part of an exciting recruiting class that gives Oregon Tech Softball another top-notch student-athlete to lead this program in the future.”
This is the first time that Tech has gone to the Henley pipeline. McKenna Armantrout wrapped up her sophomore season where she batted .360 and drove in 39 runs for the 44-win Owls that advanced to the NAIA World Series in May. Kelly Scott and Tara Moates — both graduating OIT in 2018 — also played their high school ball at Henley.
Also signing with the Owls is Krista Ward, an infilder from Vacaville, Calif. As a senior, the four-year started batted .429 and slugged .642 for the Vikings.
“Krista is going to be a nice addition to our team next year,” Stewart said. “She is a very good defensive infielder with the ability to be a true utility player. Krista could compete right away as a freshman as she hits for average and power with good speed and base running ability.”
Fink, Waiwaiole named basketball MVPs
All-Americans Mitchell Fink and Nohea Waiwaiole have been named, by their teammates, as the Most Valuable Players on the Oregon Tech men’s and women’s basketball teams for this past season.
Fink, who gained first-team honors after helping Tech reach the NAIA Division II national championship game and being honored as the Cascade Collegiate Conference Player of the Year for the second time, made serious inroads to the OIT record book.
Waiwaiole, a third-team pick in women’s basketball after helping Tech to the Sweet 16, left OIT among the career leaders in 35 different women’s basketball categories.
Fink scored a team-high 528 points this past season, had 252 assists, 146 rebounds and 59 steals.
Those numbers moved the senior-to-be into fourth place on OIT’s men’s basketball all-time scoring list with 1,553, second place on the career assist chart with 653, and with 370 career rebounds.
Tyler Hieb and Kaison Faust were named Defensive Player of the Year, Garret Albrecht won the Joshua Wetzler Rebounding Award, Seth Erickson was named top rebounder among guards, and Albrecht and Cal Stueve Most Improved Player.
Tech’s lone senior on the men’s team, Quim Vallve’ was named the winner of the Tommy Thompkins Most Inspirational Player award and the first winner of the Quim Vallve’s Oregon Tech Guy Award.
Waiwaiole, one of five seniors on the women’s team, led her team with 359 points, 201 rebounds, 151 assists and 37 blocked shots.
Those numbers left her sixth in all-time women’s scoring with 1,192 points, fifth in career rebounds with 688 and first in career assists with 411.
Abby Kreiser was named Offensive Player of the Year, Megan Morris Defensive Player of the Year, Alix Biddingon Most Inspirational Player, Alex Conley Most Improved and Mikaela Shumaker winner of the Old School Award.
OIT’s basketball teams will begin the new season in mid-September, and both begin play at the end of October.
Tech men sign Arzner
Oregon Tech men’s basketball coach Justin Parnell has signed a second player for the upcoming season.
A 6-foot-3 guard from McMinnville, Luke Arzner has signed a letter of intent to play for OIT.
Arzner averaged 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal per game this past year, and he gained first-team All-League honors. He had a career-high 38 points in a game in which he helped his team in a 64-61 come-from-behind victory over Summit.
“We are really excited about Luke and the upside he has,” Parnell said in a press release. “He has great size for a guard and tremendous athleticism. We feel Luke has unlimited potential and are thrilled to be part of that process with him.”
Arzner intends to major in business administration.